It's a boy! James Mark Sheppard, whom we have nicknamed “Jack” was born at 3:35 AM on August 20th. He weighs 7.5 pounds and is 21 inches long.
Audrey and Noah both have extraordinary birth stories, so why should little Jack be any different? We contemplated having this one in a hospital, but after weighing all of our options, we hired a midwife and prepared for a home birth. The midwife and her assistant live about 35 minutes from us, so we realized there was a chance they wouldn't make it in time for the birth. This time, Sara was determined to recognize labor for what it is. Nonetheless, we also prepared for the possibility of John-Mark having to deliver the baby. Thankfully, we have a wonderful family living upstairs who agreed to be on-call to help.
Shortly after putting Audrey and Noah to bed on Wednesday night Sara started to feel uncomfortable, but assumed it was indigestion. Though it got worse for a while and made it so she couldn't sleep, the contractions and time between varied in length and strength. So, while John-Mark slept, Sara labored through the night, once again mistaking true labor for indigestion and did not call the midwife. In her defense, she had all the same symptoms the week before, had called the midwife to come, and it turned out to be false labor. Finally, around 3:20 AM, it became clear this was indeed true labor and things went from 0-100 within minutes. Sara quickly called the midwife and gently woke up John-Mark, who then called our friend upstairs to come in case the children woke up. Before Jackie and Vanessa could even get downstairs, little Jack Sheppard had been born, caught in John-Mark's sure and calm hands. Our baby boy thankfully started to cry right away. We got settled in a bed and the midwives arrived about 15 minutes later to find everything under control with two very proud parents and a healthy baby.
We learned later that our friend upstairs, Chuck, had woken around 2:00 AM, unable to sleep. He spent some time praying for us and for a safe labor and delivery. Little did he know what was actually in progress. Hearing this part of the story deeply warmed Sara's heart, realizing she had truly never been alone. That evening, we pulled out the raspberry cheesecake Sara had made the evening before and we, along with the family upstairs and Sara's parents, called it a birthday cake and celebrated baby James' actual birth day. It was the most special way to welcome our sweet baby boy into our world.